SBD/Issue 73/PGA Tour Season Preview

Editors To Tweak PGA Tour Coverage To Include New Standings

The PGA Tour is working with sports editors on the presentation of FedEx Cup points standings as the Tour embarks on its new format this season, said PGA Tour Dir of PR Chris Smith. Discussions between the Tour and the AP’s agate editor have emphasized the importance of publishing the new points standings weekly, said Smith, and the Tour is sending sports editors a letter mentioning new agate presentation as well as FedEx Cup calendars complete with a full schedule and explanation of the new system. Eight sports editors surveyed by THE DAILY indicated they will alter their golf coverage to include the new weekly standings, but will likely refrain from making any other significant changes to their Tour coverage in ‘07.

COVERAGE: The majority of editors surveyed said they will cover the new format similar to the way they cover NASCAR’s Chase for the Nextel Cup — posting the weekly standings after each tournament and putting more emphasis on them as the playoff tournaments draw closer. “We will cover it like NASCAR,” said the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jim Jenks. “Golf is among the major sports that we cover and if they introduce a playoff system, that will be important to our readers.” The S.F. Chronicle’s Glenn Schwartz added the standings “will be the focus leading up to the season-ending tournament, so it’s newsworthy.” The Dallas Morning News’ Garry Leavell and Florida Times-Union’s Chet Fussman said they will cover the standings differently from the standings for team sports, which run daily. “I wouldn't expect the standings to appear every day since they will only change once per week,” said Leavell. Fussman added, “My guess is we will run the FedEx Cup points standings on a once-a-week basis, perhaps more often during the final weeks.”

PLACEMENT: The editors said they will either run the standings with a golf story, on an agate page, or in the scoreboard section of their papers. “Every time they play it probably would run with the story,” said Schwartz. “Other times it would run alongside Ron Kroichick's golf column or on the scoreboard page.” The Arizona Republic’s Mark Faller indicated that he will likely run the standings next to golf stories on Thursdays, but said he may also run them on a Monday or Tuesday “if there was space.” Similarly, the Detroit Free Press’ Gene Myers said the standings will run with the golf roundup section on Monday, and likely on the agate page later in the week.

MONEY LIST: Most of the editors said they will continue to run the money list, but priority will be given to the standings on busy news days. “If there is a day we have to pick one, I would lean toward the standings,” said the Boston Globe’s Joe Sullivan. Myers added he will include both the standings and the money list, but the standings “will get top billing.” And Fussman noted the standings could “force us to run a shorter money list.” Meanwhile, Leavell said he is not yet sure what approach the sports section will take. “We did not run [the money list] for a period of time at the beginning of the 2006 season and heard from readers who missed it,” said Leavell, who noted, “We reinstated it.” The L.A. Times’ Randy Harvey indicated that he will continue to use the money list on the agate page, while running the standings with a golf story on the day they are released. Jenks also said he will continue to run both “as long as both remain significant.”

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